August 17, 2011

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." -Leonardo Da Vinci

We drove up and he shouted out in delight "Mama! Da Vinci!" Today, Isaak and I went to his new school. An opportunity to meet and greet the faculty and families who would now form a new school community in our lives. As we parked, he could barely contain his excitement.

We walked through the campus and into his classroom.

Unfortunately, I did not snap any pictures of his room. But the classroom is a perfect fit for my son. Just one tiny aspect of why I love project based learning is that the classroom's environment is given high regard. It is considered another teacher. You will not find brightly colored, industry prepared posters. Nor will you find plastic furniture. You will not find 30 of the same textbooks. In fact, you will not find 30 of anything because there are a mere 17 students enrolled. You will not find walls covered with teaching materials, barely leaving any breathing room at all. Instead, you will find beautiful objects. Natural objects. Maple wood furniture. Softly painted walls. Real frames. Items stored in glass jars. Rocks for counting. Colored glass pebbles for sorting. Sharpened pencils of various colors, stored in galvanized buckets and sorted by hues. Wooden unit blocks and a wooden railroad set. A cozy loft for reading. And best of all, new {and of rad design} linoleum flooring. Perfect. For Isaak's allergies and his sensitive self. I am so very happy.

We spent some time meeting his teacher. Who is the most kind and gentle man. He goes by the name Jose. Even to his students. Love that. He is papa to a little 4 year old girl who goes to a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool in Long Beach. He knows project based learning. And his quiet spirit is a perfect balance for Isaak. I am so very happy.

We spent time exploring outside. A fresh garden is ready to cultivate. A few plants on their way, but ready for little hands to tend and care for.

And, {gasp} a CHICKEN COOP! In the makings. Isaak has been asking for chickens for about a year. I think he is just about as excited as I am about this fabulous addition to our new school.

A beautiful mural painted by our art teacher.

Yes. We have an art teacher who will come to Isaak's class for 45 minutes EACH DAY. Because, this school understands the significance of nurturing creativity and documenting learning with art. Students will keep a personal sketchbook for creative daily explorations and assignments. They will discover: two-dimensional design, drawing, realistic art, visual personal narrative, collage, positive and negative space, art criticism, value and color theory, value shading in pencil, pen and ink, abstract art, non-object art, and art history just to name a few.

There is a stump outside turned into, well whatever their imaginations make it!

Logs to explore.

And a good, old fashioned tether ball. Which, after about 30 minutes of playing with, Isaak declared "I LOOOOOOVE TETHER BALL! IT'S SOOOOOO FUN!"

It was a great time. I am so excited for this new collaboration. And Isaak is beyond thrilled. So thankful for the blessing of getting into this brand new Charter school. You can read more about that HERE. My little boy isn't so little anymore. Off to school he goes. Two days a week. I'll still hold on to him for the rest!

1 comment:

mygirl said...

this looks/sounds amazing! can't wait to hear how this year works out. thanks for sharing:)